April 12, 2010 – April 18, 2010

Closing the Educational Divide
Matthew Mcgowan, Avalanche-Journal, April 18, 2010

Troubled youths succeed, alcohol awareness, Milton High goes back to the ’80s
Carmen Paige, Pensacola News Journal, April 17, 2010

Kansas Wildscape Hires New Youth Programs Coordinator
Staff Writer, Kansas City InfoZine, April 17, 2010

Anti-violence group’s work on hold
Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun, April 17, 2010

Attending School While Black Criminalized
Ruth Calvo, The Seminal, April 17, 2010

Coloreds Need Not Apply: Modern-Day Segregation and Greek Organizations
Alexander Zou, The Student Life, April 16, 2010

Hatred spurs more violence among youth
Jennifer Hoff, Deleware Daily Times, April 16, 2010

Amherst documentary chronicles historic black school
Duffie Taylor, The News and Advance, April 16, 2010

Minority graduation rates focus of national summit
Jason Fry, The Pioneer, April 16, 2010

Time for Action on Summer Jobs for Youth
Marc H. Morial, LA Watts Times, April 15, 2010

I glimpsed a possible answer to the youth violence
Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer, April 15, 2010

Philadelphia mayor talks tough on youth violence
Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star, April 15, 2010

Young black achievers need to take back Jersey City’s streets
Staff Writer, The Jersey Journal, April 15, 2010

About 160 MN Black youth are waiting for an adoptive home
Lorenzo Davis, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, April 14, 2010

Mississippi told to stop segregating schools
James Causey, Milwaukie Journal Sentinel, April 14, 2010

“The School-to-Prison Pipeline”
Matt Stiles and Brian Thevenot, The Texas Tribune, April 14, 2010

Community gathers to confront violence
Cathy Spaulding, Mukogee Pheonix, April 14, 2010

Jadon Woodard takes his rhymes to TV – and the street
Natalie Pompilio, Philadelphia Daily News, April 14, 2010

Youths must take up world’s challenges, Michelle Obama says in Mexico speech
Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2010

Music helps homeless teen avoid violence
Melissa Jenkins, The Sydney Herald, April 13, 2010

Making our schools safer for kids: Bullying solutions discussed at hearing
Bernard J. Scally, Montgomery Media, April 13, 2010

Lee County’s jobless teens face cruel summer
Laura Ruane, News Press, April 12, 2010

Negro Is, Negro Ain't: On Erica Jong's Version of Oprah

Last week, Erica Jong wrote the most random “book review” (or something) I have ever read in my life.  In her Huffington Post blog, Jong, apparently charged with discussing Kitty Kelley’s recently published unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey, essentially writes about knowing both Winfrey and Kelley, and admits that she hasn’t actually finished the text in question.  (Note to self: Figure out how to get a gig like Erica Jong.)  In this latest version of “I knew [insert famous person] when…,” Jong had the following observation about the divine Ms. O:

The Black Eyed Peas, and The ART of Selling Out…

I went to my first concert when I was in the fifth grade; It was 1999 (I think)and Wyclef Jean was headlining, with direct support from De La Soul, and the Black Eyed Peas as the opening act. Not bad, right? My aunt and uncle took my little cousin Joe and I to the show, at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, and besides my Uncle Jerry getting pissed at the college kids smoking weed behind us, it was an amazing show and among my fondest musical memories.

Oddly enough, the set I remember best was that of the Black Eyed Peas. Coming off the moderate success of their first album Behind The Front, and promoting their soon-to-be-released follow-up Bridging The Gap, the Peas stormed the stage around 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Espousing a conscious, alternative hip hop style akin to that of The Roots or The Pharcyde, Will.I.Am, Apl.De.Ap and Taboo put on a great show, freestyling, beatboxing and breakdancing with reckless abandon.  From what I can recollect, their set was undeniably impressive.

The only problem: there couldn’t have been more than 50 people actually watching that performance. Nobody was paying attention; nobody cared. This is a ridiculous thought, but a part of me wants to feel that it was this concert, as well as the less-than-stellar performance of Bridging The Gap, that led the Black Eyed Peas to draft Fergie into the group, and sellout beyond belief.

And judging by the epic, big budget, sold out, futuristic pop extravaganza they put on last month in Chi-town (which I attended as well), selling out has never seemed so necessary.

Says Seven year-old, “Big Sister let them Rape Me:” Trenton, Irresponsible Black Girls, and Savior Russell Simmons

TRENTON — City police have charged a 15-year-old girl as an accomplice to the gang rape of her 7-year-old sister. Police said they believe the older sibling was paid for having sex with multiple partners Sunday night during a party at the troubled Rowan Towers apartment complex, and that she then sold her sister to others at the party.

My heart grieves not only for the seven year old black girl who was gang raped, but also for her 15 year old sister who sold her body and her sister’s body for money. Yes, my heart grieves even though many people are angry with the older sister for not protecting her little sister calling for “the book to be thrown at her.” To say the least, the big sister is going to jail for a very long time. But yet, my heart weeps for her as it wept for Precious’ mother, Mary. It weeps because it says something about the level of sexual abuse she herself must have experienced to make the idea of being complicit in her sister’s rape plausible. My heart moans because she like other girls knows that they can make a living by selling their bodies. It wails and weeps because no one stepped in to stop her first sexual abuse. My heart grieves.

The question is: Can we really be angry with the 15 year old sister for what she did? And I am having a hard time answering this question because a part of me wants to be angry at her for not protecting her little sister. However, I have to assess how much of my sadness and anger is in response to the crime of rape and how much of it is in response to her not being a good big sister. You know the type of big sister my older sister was forced to be completely responsible for raising me when she was only a girl herself because . . . momma had to work late . . . momma did not like being tied down . . . daycare is expensive . . . momma had a second job . . . momma was gone . . . momma had to party . . . daddy was gone . . . so she became responsible for raising and protecting “us” her younger siblings.

Stupid White Folks

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rXmuhWrlj4&feature=channel

When Sarah Palin burst onto the scene with her country patois and off-beat monikers it was clear that beyond being animated, she was both a leader and role model to one of the most underrepresented groups of people–stupid white folks. Juxtaposed to Michelle Obama with her premium Ivy-League education, Sarah Palin was a mom who’d worked her way from a bachelor’s degree (earned by combining credits from four community colleges) to Governor. Instead of being what Paul Mooney would call “a waste of white skin” she became a symbol of mediocrity for many white people failing to meet the supposed standards of their race. A sort of anti-model-majority.

Of course we have always seen the redneck comedian, the frat boy, and the loopy male politician, but never before has there been a time where so many stupid white people have commanded such an audience. Could it be backlash for the rise of uppity, oops i mean intelligent well-mannered black folks? Are white folks simply growing tired of being the moral guideposts? One could say so. Beyond the early days of Real World and the rise of Sarah Palin we now have the Jersey Shore group, Desperate Housewives, and reality tv shows about white women with litters of children. Hidden before, behind black poverty, gangsta rap, and welfare queen ideology was one of the most understudied and mislabeled groups on earth–stupid white folks. Before now, anytime dumb white people came up, it had nothing to do with race and everything to do with class. The implication, white people, “real” white people can’t possibly be stupid or uncouth.

You mad?

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers. –Maya Angelou

Things go wrong. That is an unfortunate fact of life. Sometimes everything goes wrong at once. Nothing is more telling of your character than the way you carry yourself when you’re angry. When I’m really going through it, I tend to lash out at the people who are closest to me. This is a personality flaw that I am working tirelessly to correct. It’s a learned behavior and I can pinpoint the source. Instead of talking about the real issues, I observed and internalized that avoiding things and allowing them to accumulate is the correct way to cope.

It is not.